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 Post subject: Spam edits
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 10:29 am 
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Is there a point in letting users that are not logged-in create and edit talk pages? Not letting them would at least stop the current spam wave.


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 Post subject: Re: Spam edits
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 11:55 am 
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It's really hampering the ability to check for actual discussions on the talk pages. I guess it's better to start a thread here, at this point, than try to talk over there.

Though over here we still have the timeout problem... :S


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 Post subject: Re: Spam edits
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 12:38 pm 
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On the bright side, all of the edits are from the same IP address (38.141.52.250), so in theory we could ban them all at once.

Unless, of course, that happens to be the wiki's misconfigured HTTPS proxy...

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 Post subject: Re: Spam edits
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 12:55 pm 
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Yeah, it is the same misconfigured HTTPS proxy.


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 Post subject: Re: Spam edits
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 4:27 pm 
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NewRisingSun wrote:
Is there a point in letting users that are not logged-in create and edit talk pages?

It was suppposed to be to allow anons to contribute corrections, or to contact an administrator if they have a problem with registering.

Because of all the thesaurus-driven text spinning, it's hard to create a pattern rule for this sort of vandalism. My best attempt was based on the length of the edit summary of a new section. And because of the misconfigured reverse proxy or misconfigured MediaWiki or both, MediaWiki is not seeing the original IP address.

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 Post subject: Re: Spam edits
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 10:56 pm 
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tepples wrote:
or to contact an administrator if they have a problem with registering
That could be handled by posting to this forum, or by contacting the admins via email.
tepples wrote:
It was suppposed to be to allow anons to contribute corrections
Seems to be a rather sporadically-occurring scenario.
tepples wrote:
My best attempt was based on the length of the edit summary of a new section.
The problem is that the filter definition itself is viewable by everyone, making it easy for a spammer to see how exactly you are filtering. (Why are filter definitions viewable by everyone anyway?)

Given that the intended purposes seem to occur much rarely than the abuse does, I still think that editing by non-logged-in users should be disabled.

(Also, what's the point of spamming without advertising a product link anyway? Pure vandalism?)


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 Post subject: Re: Spam edits
PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:22 am 
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NewRisingSun wrote:
tepples wrote:
or to contact an administrator if they have a problem with registering
That could be handled by posting to this forum

The forum doesn't allow anonymous posts either. Or would you instead expect all wiki users to also already be forum users?

NewRisingSun wrote:
or by contacting the admins via email.

Which would require either A. enforcing that all admins regularly check email or B. setting up some sort of email-to-ticket gateway on the server. With WhoaMan being an absentee landlord, I doubt that either of these is viable.

NewRisingSun wrote:
The problem is that the filter definition itself is viewable by everyone, making it easy for a spammer to see how exactly you are filtering. (Why are filter definitions viewable by everyone anyway?)

Both here and on Wikipedia, most filters are targeted at errors by novices and non-specific attacks by bots. A filter targeted at one attacker who is specifically evading filters on this particular wiki can indeed be made private.

NewRisingSun wrote:
(Also, what's the point of spamming without advertising a product link anyway? Pure vandalism?)

It's no good for direct response or for black hat search engine optimization, but advertising the name of a product is for brand building. Or it could be a test to see if a wiki is abandoned enough that vandal edits will stick.

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 Post subject: Re: Spam edits
PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 3:47 am 
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tepples wrote:
enforcing that all admins regularly check email
Yes, I actually would expect an admin to regularly check email. :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Spam edits
PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:11 am 
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tepples wrote:
Or would you instead expect all wiki users to also already be forum users?


Yes. If you can't be bothered to register a forum account, then I wouldn't think you'd have any business editing the wiki.

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 Post subject: Re: Spam edits
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:16 am 
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NewRisingSun wrote:
tepples wrote:
enforcing that all admins regularly check email
Yes, I actually would expect an admin to regularly check email. :roll:

Thank you very much and lidnariq too for cleaning up all the spam very quickly. Usually it's once-in-awhile but recently it has became insane.

I believe they don't understand it's pointless to spam here 'case it'll be deleted very soon anyway... but hey, go figure.


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 Post subject: Re: Spam edits
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 7:00 am 
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Hadn't checked the wiki in a while, but looking at the recent changes, I would definitely agree it should just be locked down to registered users only.
I don't think I've ever stumbled on an anonymous edit that wasn't spam (I'm sure there are a couple, but in that case there are a couple hundred (thousand?) attempts at vandalism for each valuable anonymous edit.)

As is, the "recent changes" page is useless/unusable, and I used to look at that rather often to check if there were any new important emulation-related edits that I needed to read.


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 Post subject: Re: Spam edits
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:28 am 
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In the past, the ABUSE filter has been enough to shut down botspam, but it's become more difficult lately for administrators to write a filter without too many false positives. If I had enough authority to log in and disable anonymous editing, I might also have enough authority to log in and see why X-Forwarded-For is not getting through or to fix mail. But a lot of that depends on a shell account, which depends on WhoaMan.

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